The municipal market was slightly firmer yesterday. Traders said tax-exempt yields were lower by one or two basis points overall, with more pronounced gains on the long end of the curve."We're a bit firmer, but it's quiet," a trader in New York said. "We're definitely picking up a basis point or two, mostly on the long end. But there's not a ton of trading, and there probably won't be until after the weekend."

"There's not a whole lot going on, but we're a little bit firmer," a trader in San Francisco said. "We're maybe even three, four basis points better out long. But overall, it's quiet, and there's not a ton of movement. Probably two basis points overall if I had to put a number on it."

The Treasury market showed gains yesterday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note, which opened at 3.37%, finished at 3.30%. The yield on the two-year note finished at 0.90% after opening at 0.91%. The yield on the 30-year bond, which opened at 4.19%, finished at 4.11%.

As of Tuesday's close, the triple-A muni scale in 10 years was at 86.7% of comparable Treasuries, according to Municipal Market Data, while 30-year munis were 103.8% of comparable Treasuries. As of Tuesday's close, 30-year tax-exempt triple-A general obligation bonds were at 106.9% of the comparable London Interbank Offered Rate.

In the new-issue market yesterday, RBC Capital Markets priced $186.2 million of state facilities refunding bonds for Ohio. Bonds from the larger $89.8 million series mature in 2010, and from 2013 through 2024. Yields range from 0.60% with a 2% coupon in 2010 to 4.00% with a 5% coupon in 2024.

Bonds from a $79.6 million series mature from 2010 through 2024, with yields ranging from 0.60% with a 2% coupon in 2010 to 4.00% with a 5% coupon in 2024. Bonds from the smaller $16.8 million series mature from 2013 through 2024, with yields ranging from 1.86% with a 3% coupon in 2013 to 4.00% priced at par in 2024.

All the bonds are callable at par in 2019, and are rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service, AA by Standard & Poor's, and AA-minus by Fitch Ratings.

Morgan Keegan & Co. priced $147.8 million of water and sewer revenue bonds for Pasco County, Fla., in two series, including $114.7 million of taxable Build America Bonds. The bonds mature in 2024, 2029, 2034, and 2039, yielding 5.45%, 6.25%, 6.75%, and 6.85%, respectively, priced at par — or, after the 35% federal subsidy, 3.54%, 4.06%, 4.39%, and 4.45%.

The $33.1 million tax-exempt series matures from 2013 through 2021, with yields ranging from 2.15% with a 3% coupon in 2013 to 4.03% with a 4% coupon in 2021. All the bonds are callable at par in 2019 and are rated Aa3 by Moody's, AA by Standard & Poor's, and AA-minus by Fitch.

Nassau County, N.Y., competitively sold $83.6 million of GO improvement bonds to Wachovia Bank NA with a true interest cost of 3.25%. The bonds mature from 2011 through 2023, with yields ranging from 2.25% with a 4% coupon in 2014 to 3.91% with a 4% coupon in 2023.

Bonds maturing from 2011 through 2013 were not formally re-offered. The bonds, which are callable at par in 2019, are rated A2 by Moody's and A-plus by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

Morgan Keegan also priced $79.1 million of hospital revenue bonds for Tarrant County, Tex., Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corp. in two series. Bonds from the $33.9 million Series A mature from 2010 through 2025, with yields ranging from 1.78% with a 4% coupon in 2010 to 5.27% with a 5.125% coupon in 2025. The bonds are callable at par in 2019.

Bonds from the $45.2 million Series B mature from 2011 through 2028, with a term bond in 2030. Yields range from 2.24% with a 3% coupon in 2011 to 5.40% with a 5.375% coupon in 2030. The bonds are callable at par in 2019, except those maturing in 2030, which are callable at par in 2014. All the bonds are insured by Assured Guaranty Corp. The underlying credit is rated A3 by Moody's and BBB-plus by Standard & Poor's.

Edward Jones priced $70 million of GO bonds for California's Tulare Local Health Care District in two series, including $61.4 million of taxable BABs. The bonds mature from 2017 through 2021, with term bonds in 2029, 2032, 2034, and 2039. Yields range from 6.20% with a 6.45% coupon — or 4.19% after the 35% federal subsidy — in 2017 to 8.00% priced at par — or 5.20% after the subsidy — in 2039. The bonds were priced to yield between 285 and 384 basis points over the comparable Treasury yield.

The $8.6 million tax-exempt series matures from 2014 through 2026, with yields ranging from 3.41% with a 3.75% coupon in 2014 to 5.40% with a 6.5% coupon in 2026. All the bonds in both series are callable at par in 2019 and rated A3 by Moody's.

Wachovia Bank priced $42.9 million of GO refunding bonds for Forsyth County, N.C. The bonds mature from 2012 through 2020, with yields ranging from 1.09% with a 3% coupon in 2012 to 3.00% with a 5% coupon in 2020. The bonds, which are not callable, are rated triple-A by all three agencies.

In economic data released yesterday, factory orders rose 1.3% in July after a revised 0.9% in June. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 2.2% rise. Excluding transportation, factory orders fell 0.7% in July after a revised 2.7% rise the previous month.

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